Project Management

Knowledge Sharing on Agile Projects: Absent or Abundant?

Southern Alberta Chapter

Mike Griffiths is a consultant and trainer who help organizations improve performance through shared leadership, agility and (un)common sense. He maintains the blog LeadingAnswers.com.

Knowledge transfer and sharing on agile teams differs from traditional approaches in both form and the internal versus external focus. Agile teams produce few of the traditional knowledge transfer, yet their daily practices focus on knowledge transfer. While agile teams spend much of their time transferring information internally, they share little with external groups other than the evolving product or service they create. These differences lead to some polarizing views of knowledge sharing and transfer on agile projects.

Some people see agile projects as knowledge transfer deserts where information is hoarded by key individuals and no useful documentation produced. Others believe agile projects are all about knowledge transfer. So why the disagreement? How can smart, experienced people have such different views about the same topic? It comes down to what we consider knowledge transfer and sharing to be.

A requirements specification document should be a great vehicle for sharing knowledge and transferring it from analysts to developers. It is a permanent record of requirements that can be read by many people and referred back to when needed. If questions or the need for clarifications arise, go look in the requirements specification. This works well for stable, unchanging requirements that can be gathered comprehensively up front.

Baselined plans are great …


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"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."

- Winston Churchill